Skip to content

10 Great Movies You Need To See To Really Understand BDSM

18 March 2018 | Features, Film Lists | by Dilair Singh

phantom-thread

When most people think of “BDSM”, they might immediately have an idea in mind about what it means. In the world of film, however, BDSM isn’t all whips and chains. Relationships can be depicted in different ways that are not heteronormative, often to great results.

Before the recent popularizing of Fifty Shades of Grey, there were several other films that made use of nontraditional relationships. This list includes a few of the best to tackle to subject successfully.

 

1. Secretary (2002)

Secretary gets mentioned a lot as being a “BDSM movie,” but it has earned a fanbase because it’s more than that. It’s a bit more multi-layered in comparison to an average film might be with the same story.

This film is a great example of sensitive material handled well; done any differently, the film might be too silly to take seriously. But the characters feel like three-dimensional people. It doesn’t feel like an outrageous film, but rather a romantic movie that happens to have BDSM.

 

2. Maitresse (1976)

This is another case of a subversive film that has a reputation for being “about” sadomasochism. Of course that plays an important role, but the film just would not be the same were it not for Barbet Schroeder’s attention to detail.

Schroeder found the perfect balance of making Maitresse a risque film, as well as making it a solid love story with complex characters. It’s the perfect hybrid for people who want the BDSM content, and the love story.

 

3. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a controversial figure, and when you watch The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

It is not a stretch to assume that the titular character of this film (as well as the dynamics of how the characters treat each other) may have been inspired by Fassbinder himself. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant is a fantastic illustration of what people look like when they’re crazy in love.

 

4. The Piano Teacher (2001)

the-piano-teacher

The Piano Teacher is one of the few times in film history BDSM isn’t treated with a goofy third-rate understanding of what it means. Michael Haneke created an unforgettable, powerful film that depicts a woman struggling to come to terms with her sexual proclivities.

The brilliance of this film is partly due to the fact that the main characters aren’t perfectly in agreement with what their relationship really is, or where it’s headed. This leads to serious consequences; amour fou at its finest.

 

5. Intimacy (2001)

While not known for being a “BDSM” film specifically, Intimacy portrays a fresh take on the idea of two people engaged in a relationship that society might frown upon. Intimacy primarily tells the story of a man who enjoys rough, anonymous sexual encounters. When he attempts to learn more about the woman he’s been seeing, their relationship is strained.

Intimacy features a great Mark Rylance performance (years before he won the Oscar for Bridge of Spies), and the rawness of Last Tango in Paris is a clear influence.

 

 

Pages: 1 2


   

Other Brilliant Movie Posts On The Web
   

Like Our Facebook Page and Get Daily Updates